On the foot of Mt Bugak and on the city of Seoul’s doorstep, stands one of South Korea’s most iconic landmarks that is steeped history and has lived on for many centuries. I speak of Gyeongbokgung Palace, a truly peaceful and spiritual place, if there is such a thing, but you’ll understand what I mean once you visit this splendid palace in Seoul and wander the grounds for yourself.
You’ll love the serene atmosphere that comes with a wander through the ground of Seoul’s finest Palace and appreciate the history while you wander from building to building and read about each fact of the structure you stand in front of. You’ll see right there and then that Gyeongbokgung Palace is full of amazing history that will even at times sadden you.
Where is it and getting there
Gyeongbokgung Palace is the northern part of Seoul in the Jongno region. The area is not just about the magnificent palace however, with plenty of shopping and restaurants nearby and to keep you occupied in the area for many hours.
The best way to get to the palace is by the Seoul Subway System. Get off at Gyeongbokgung station on subway line 3 or at Gwanghwamun station on subway line 5. Either station is fine and the same walking distance, it’s depending on which line you are coming from. From there it is only a matter of a few minutes walk from either subway stations.
What to do in Gyeongbokgung Palace
Get ready to burn a few calories inside the large grounds of Gyeongbokgung Palace, the walk is long but it’ll be one of the most peaceful walks you can have. Nestled in centuries of South Korean tradition with some of the finest buildings and beautifully landscaped gardens with a stunning mountain backdrop, you’ll be right at home while also admiring the tranquillity that Gyeongbokgung has to offer to all visitors to the Palace.
Once your feet get tired from all the walking that you have endured, not that it’s a bad walk by any stretch of imagination, there are few places to stop, enjoy a coffee, admire the picturesque views and, of course, take a few pictures of the beauty that surrounds you, whether it’s a significant Palace, a temple or a gorgeous water feature, you’ll snap that memorable picture to add to your photo album.
The stunning view of The Gyeonghoeru is one of my favourite spots within the Grand Palace. The backdrop of the Gyeonghoeru, which was used as a Royal Palace, overshadows a calm lake and has the mountains in full view in the background. At the Gyeonghoeru,
it’s the perfect location to Stop into the café for a coffee and a small bite to eat at the neat little café that comes with a souvenir store, from there you can enjoy your hot beveridge slowly with the Gyeonghoeru right there for viewing and if you arrive at the right time, you may even be able to watch a traditional Korean performance at the amphitheatre area.
First constructed in 1412, The Gyeonghoeru has had to survive a tough time during the Japanese invasion, which was ultimately destroyed and sadly burnt day when invaded by the Japanese, only for the building to be identically rebuilt in 1867 and what a great thing that is, because being restored doesn’t take away the history it has gained in the past.
History of Gyeonbokgung Palace
It was built in the year 1395 and appropriately named Gyeongbokgung, which in translation means, “the Palace greatly blessed by heaven”. After the capital Seoul was raided by the Japanese in 1592, the palace remained derelict for 270 years. with another structure built and used in that time, Changdeokgung Palace, which is another of Seoul’s incredible Palaces you can visit today.
It was reconstructed again in 1867 with vast changes. Unfortunately it would not last long as majority of the Palace was torn down again during the Japanese occupation in the early 1900’s. In that time from the Japanese occupation, Gyeongbokgung Palce has been attempted to be restored to original format since 1990 and the construction is still on going to this day.
It’s beautiful, it’s full of heavy history and tradition, so do yourself favour when you are visiting South Korea’s Capital City and head to this mighty Palace and stand on the grounds of the Gyeongbokgung and learn about a great part of South Korean history.